Posted by Adrian on October 17, 2002
In Reply to: Re: Counting chickens posted by R. Berg on October 17, 2002
: : Hi! What is the origin of the phrase, "Don't count your chickens before they're hatched."? Mrs. Morrissey's class has struck again...(Saxon)
: Mrs. Morrissey's students would be well advised to look at Aesop's Fables--in particular, "The Milkmaid and Her Pail" (link below or http://www.pacificnet.net/~johnr/cgi/aesop1.cgi?srch&fabl/TheMilkmaidandHerPail). The version at that site looks suspiciously modern to me, referring as it does to a Farmer Brown, but it has the gist of the old story.
Confusingly enough, the phrase is from an Aesop Fable, but not this one! It should be from a poor couple who find an egg and imagine the riches they can get once the chicken is hatched. Only the egg ends up broken.